Should 4Chan pick on Rebecca Black, or HP?

Is it worse to make bad pop? Or make good rock bad?

Target selection is important to more than just bomber pilots and hit men.

There's a media hype circle that started with a Daily Beast post about 13-year-old YouTube sensation Rebecca Black complaining about how much abuse she got after posting a vanity video of her lip-synching the words to a string of randomized lyrics titled "Friday" as an auto-tuner actually sang it.

Gawker picked up on the hate on – source of many in the hactivist group Anonymous as well as a coterie of relentless pop-culture haters, satirists and contemptivores.

Gawker's piece focused on "Operation Black Friday," which could have been a real project to dig up dirt to embarrass the eighth grader and the demented parents who paid for and posted her video, or could have been "you know what we should do..." bitching about the worst tween-pop performance to have come from anywhere but Disney in years.

So far it looks more like it was just a lot of goofing on 4Chan's /b/ board, which is thick with porn, abuse of bad media, porn, bad Facebookerie, pop culture idiocy of all kinds, and porn.

Instead of ruining this b****s life, or making her realize how ridiculous her songs sound, you made her famous.
You made heaps of people AWARE of her. No, you'd think it's just hate mail. BUT NO. People are actually BUYING her s***, and her song has risen way up on iTunes. She's already expressed an interest to keep on making "songs".
-- "Anonymous," posting shortly after 1 pm today.

Is a 13-year-old pop-princess-wannabe a worthy target for a group that (launched a group that) took down Visa, Mastercard, the Church of Scientology and attacked oppressive governments in Egypt and Libya?

How about real offenses against nature?

How about Hewlett-Packard's abuse of Lou Reed's stoner counterculture classic "Walk on the Wild Side?"

Think Rebecca Black's lyrics are offensively stupid?

How about:

  • Everybody Touch, Everybody tap, Everybody move, Everybody app;
  • Everybody Digg, Everybody host, Everybody Skype, Everybody post;
  • Everybody dream, Everybody Sprint, Everybody Air, Everybody print;
  • Everybody frag, Everybody Tweet, Everybody Shuffle, Everybody beat;
  • Everybody mobile, Everybody global, everybody cloud, Everybody now.

Everybody App? Everybody Cloud?

And this from a global mega-corporation that's mature and responsible? That hardly ever has to fire its CEO for sexually harassing contractors or hire a replacement who had to come out of hiding to interview for the job, and take time off from being harangued by Oracle's supernaturally even-tempered and respectable CEO Larry Ellison for irresponsibility and outrageous business practices?

At least with the Rebecca Black video you can laugh at it. It's fluff. Her parents paid for it, she got it shot somewhere and posted it on YouTube. It's just a way to get some attention.

HP didn't rewrite a great Lou Reed lyric just to get a laugh from its buddies. It did that on purpose.

The idea and the lyrics and the video and what to do with it all had to be approved, one at a time, by a lot of people in suits and impressive-sounding job titles.

It's going to put the video on commercial television, on elevator video screens and into the lineup of junk playing on the monitor in the plane after the movie is over and you're too bored to do anything but stare at the screen.

Rebecca Black is ridiculous.

HP is serious.

You tell me which is worse.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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